Bonding between victims in traumatic situations (captivity)

Bonding between victims in traumatic situations (captivity).

I’ve googled several variations of that (bonding between victims, bonding in traumatic situations, bonding on victims of catastrophes), and I’m guessing the problem is the wording I’m using, but I can’t find anything relevant to my question. All the results I get are about trauma bonding (which is another name for Stockholm syndrome, apparently). I’ve tried looking up bonding between soldiers, because I guessed that would get me something closer to what I was asking, but the results are too specific. I’ve tried looking up “bonding between POWs” but I get more results about trauma bonding.


The setting is modern day, US. Magic is a thing that exists, but it's very uncommon.
Character A runs away from Evil Guys, who had kidnapped him and were torturing him. Character A mets B, who is an MD (who doesn’t practise because she changed careers right after finishing med school) because she works in the place he runs to. For plot related reasons there’s no option to call another doctor to treat A, so B does. Their relationship is a not-actually-a-doctor/patient one. Evil Guys find A and kidnap him again, and kidnap B too because she's there, so why the hell not. They are kept together, A is tortured on a daily basis until they are rescued about a month after the second kidnapping. She’s forced to watch the torture on occasion, but not subjected to torture herself (not physical, at least). They bond (mostly because they are the other’s only source of non-hostile interpersonal contact/comfort and sharing a 100 square feet cell with only one cot). I’ve found a couple articles about how traumatic situations can make the victims bond ( apparently stress makes people friendlier with others on their same situation), but also a passage on a book written by someone who was on a concentration camp and how he resented other prisoners. A may resent B a bit, because while both of them are on a similar situation, she fares better because she’s not being tortured. I can handwave that a bit, though.

My problem comes with the rescue. I’ve researched a lot about torture, CPTSD, learned helplessness and whatnot, so I can guess how they are going to react to the “outside world”. My problem is what I’m not as sure about what happens to that bond: they try to avoid the other, because it’s just a reminder of what they went through? One of the symptoms of PTSD is avoidance of things that remember you the traumatic event. Or do they become even closer, because only the other understands what they went through, much like soldiers returning after serving together?

English is not my native language, so again I may not be using the right wording. And I sent this as an anon post, but since I can't find it on the community and the post on the sticky has dissapeared, I decided to post it myself.

Lubricant for spontaneous sex between two men in a shower?

My setting is futuristic-military: earth-born soldiers doing their tour of duty defending fledgling human colonies on other planets against aliens.

I have two soldiers who have been attracted to each other for a while, alone in the barracks showers. Sex ensues. My question is: what can they use as a lubricant?

I found that water is no good, soap is no good. Is there anything else that could be used? (For any site that recommended anything, I found two that said never to use that same thing. It left me very confused.) I should add they are not using a condom (vaccines for STDs instead). Is there any chance at all that with no condom, they wouldn't need a lubricant for anal/have options that are incompatible with condoms?

Considering the sex is based on a combination of attraction, needing to feel alive after the horror of a combat situation, and post-combat "life is too short to keep on being shy", I feel that frottage would be too intimate for the characters. Are there options other than anal that are not face-to-face, and would work with the absence of proper lubricants?

What to Name My Shinto Deity

Places: Iga Prefecture (medieval Japan/1581); New York City (2014)
Search Terms Used: Shinto, Naming my Shinto Deity, Naming my Shinto kami, kami, kami names, Iga Prefecture, Iga Prefecture shrines, Iga Prefecture kami. I also went down the entire list of Shinto terms on Wikipedia.
Subject: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I need to name a Shinto deity. My Japanese is middling, so I know how to read and form basic sentences, look up kanji that I don't know, and put kanji together to make a name. I know that it is common to have Shinto deities with names that end in 神 to denote their status. However, there are plenty of Shinto deities who don't have this addition. Moreover, I don't want to accidentally create a name that is humorous, odd, disrespectful, or already used for an established deity.

The kami would belong to the Foot ninja, the TMNT's parent organization and nemesis. It would appear in the form of a male rat, and its honden would be flanked by two rat statues, one holding a scroll, the other a gem (I copied Otoyo Shrine in this respect). I decided that the Foot existed into the modern day as a Shinto sect. The backstory is that this rat kami taught the Foot the art of ninjitsu. When Oda Nobunaga attacked Iga Prefecture in 1581 and destroyed it, the Foot--centralized in a particular village--were forewarned by their tutelary kami, and ran off with it in its mikoshi (divine palanquin), thereby saving themselves and their art. Evidence of the kami's worship will be seen in the modern day by my protagonist, who visits a secret room where one of its honden was built.

Although an ideal name would deal with being a sneaky fire-setting bastard like the ninja of old, bonus points would be if the name had a connection to Splinter, the TMNT's mentor. Hence, I also considered names that referred to forests, trees, pillars, etc.--something from which a "splinter" could be derived.

I also welcome any other critiques as to how I've presented this kami!

Thank you so much for your help!

Interrogation for suspicious death

Setting: Small town Indiana (US), Present day.

Search terms:  Suspected foul play, Death ruled accidental, Who determines cause of death, How long does autopsy take, Nest material, Can a homicide later be ruled accidental.

MC loses her parents to carbon monoxide due to a blocked furnace flue. Detectives suspect that MC may have tampered with the furnace flue, but the deaths are ultimately (and correctly) ruled accidental.

A repair worker sent to MC's parents house finds a bird or rodent nest in the furnace flue. Among the innocent looking materials, torn remnants of clothing (t-shirt?, socks?, underwear?) belonging to MC are found in the nest. Because the incident occurred on the first night of the heating season, the nest could have been in the flue for weeks or months before the incident. Possible motive comes from MC having arguments with her mother prior to the incident. MC is a former employee of a company that installs heating and air conditioning equipment and the detectives (mistakenly) believe that she may have gotten the idea/knowledge at her old job.

How long would it take for MC to be exonerated and the deaths to be ruled accidental? Out of the people involved (detectives, forensic examiners, coroner, etc.), who would be primarily responsible for clearing MC? The cause of death is confirmed to be carbon monoxide poisoning for both parents, so ruling out foul play would depend on how the flue became blocked, not how MC's parents died.

Russian nicknames for siblings, family friends, parental figures, and one's children

I'm writing a modern story taking place in Eastern Canada, but it's set around two siblings discovering who they are as people and learning more about their Russian heritage. Both brothers (Stepan and Yakov) are eighteen, and have just been drafted into the NHL. For context, Stepan and Yakov were both orphaned at a young age and raised in the foster system (losing their heritage along the way) before being drafted into a team in Eastern Canada. Most new NHL players live with an older player for the first few years, and for my purposes they are living with Nikolai Alekseevich Stepankov, a Russian player. Nikolai will take up a vaguely parental role for Stepan and Yakov.

I am looking for information on nicknaming all three characters, how Stepan and Yakov would address Nikolai when they first met, and after they became closer, and what Nikolai would call Stepan and Yakov.

Right now I'm calling Stepan 'Stepka' from Yakov (as I read that the -ka endings come off as teasing and were generally used between close friends, but please tell me if I have misunderstood this), but I'm not sure what to call Yakov from Stepan's perspective. Would Yashka or Yaska be appropriate from Stepan's perspective? I've read that -enka and -ochka come off as parental in Russian, so would Nikolai call Stepan 'Stepenka' or 'Stenka' and Yakov 'Yashenka'?

I've done a lot of reading on Russian nicknames. I've found an article that straight-up lists diminutives for hundreds of Russian names, an article about using diminutives as a foreigner and Russian expectations, and other similar articles- they generally list a few diminutives and what would be appropriate for strangers, friends, and family. None of these articles have contained the sort of specific information I'm looking for in terms of appropriate nicknames from siblings. Furthermore, I am still unsure of how Stepan and Yakov would address Nikolai after they became closer (my understanding as that they would call him Nikolai Alekseevich at first). Is there a specific title for older family friends, or does aunt/uncle work in that role as it does in the Philippines?

Abseiling questions

Abseiling questions that are too elementary / naïve for Google to be of much help:

  • What happens if you panic and let go of the rope? I know there's a device that prevents you from plummeting to your doom, but at what point does it kick in - do you drop a few centimetres, half a metre, more? Do you spin? How easy/difficult is it (in practical terms not psychological) to resume your descent?

  • Apparently long abseils and potholers use something called a brake bar rack, a device for controlling descent. I watched a few videos and have a vague idea of how it works, but are there e.g. any bits you should never let go of when using this method?

  • Is military equipment significantly different in this regard?

  • If abseiling with others, how do you prevent your ropes from getting tangled? (Unless sharing a rope is an option, in which case whoopee.)

  • What other minor problems might arise during a descent? Assume equipment is in good condition and was set up by someone who knew what they were doing.

Context: character is abseiling freely into a deep (100-150m), very wide cave (no wall-hopping), accompanied by three others. All are using specialised military equipment. The rope is safely fixed near the roof/mouth of the cave, with people watching over it at the surface. Speed is not of the essence: they just need to reach the bottom without being pancaked. They also can't descend one by one, as there's a chance those left behind might be arrested (long story). Wind may be an issue: it's a closed cave, but with a very large space and several small openings to the surface.

Character is a soldier who hasn't practised in years and is currently discovering a previously-unknown fear of heights, which is not a good thing to discover when you're 120m above the next solid surface. He's not going to go over the edge (ha) but I do want to have an idea of what can happen to make him twitch, besides my overactive acrophobic imagination.

[crossposted from TV Tropes]
ResearchCollapse )

A couple questions regarding Chinese Soup for the Gods...

The following (downright minimalist) recipe is from How to Cook and Eat in Chinese (first published in 1945) by Buwei Yang Chao--which as far as I know, is the first American Chinese cookbook targeted to English-speaking non-Chinese, and codified a lot of the terminology; for example, it was she who introduced the terms "pot-sticker" and "stir-fry." The author's remarks are italicized:

When you are absolutely out of soups, you can always make shên-hsien-t'ang, Soup for the Gods. Since it is too simple to count as a dish, I am numbering it 15.0.
(Chapter 15 dealt with soups.)

6 cups boiling water
2 tb-sp. soy sauce
Some dozen 1/2-inch sections of garlic shoots or 1 scallion cut to 1/8-inch
sections
1 t-sp. sesame oil or salad oil or lard

Put seasonings into a bowl and pour boiling water in it.

Soup for the Gods is a good drink to go with rich foods, such as Eggs Stir Rice
(what nowadays is termed "fried rice" in English.)

Not having brought up with traditional Chinese cookery and its surrounding cultural context, I've long wondered a couple things about the above concoction (which does serve as a useful quick-and-dirty soup base):

1. Why is it called "Soup for the Gods"? Is the name ironic, is it used in ritual offerings, or just what?

2. Just about every iteration of Soup for the Gods I've found online also includes ginseng:

https://recipeland.com/recipe/v/soup-for-the-gods-41328

http://www.recipesource.com/soups/soups/12/rec1258.html

http://www.cookingindex.com/recipes/74909/shen-hsien-tang-soup-for-the-gods.htm

The third link above cites The Ginseng Book (1973, Ruka Publications) by Louise Veninga; this would've been during an era when a lot of non-Chinese Americans exalted ginseng as a miracle substance that's Good For You and should be consumed at every opportunity (a characteristic product of the period was Ginseng Up, a root-beer-flavored ginseng-infused pop sold in health-food stores.) (See also the current adulation of things like kale, açaí berries, quinoa, and goji.)

(It may also be significant that a paperback edition of How to Cook and Eat in Chinese had come out in 1972.)

Now, according to Dr. Chao, one use of Soup for the Gods is as a light drinking soup/neutral palate-cleanser between banquet courses; I have difficulty believing that a powerful traditional medicinal herb would be added indiscriminately to such--particularly without specifying the type of ginseng, which would be an important consideration in Traditional Chinese Medicine; Chinese, Korean, and American ginseng have different effects (and the last is a different species entirely.)

So: how authentic an option is the ginseng?

Sources I've already consulted include:

Google searches on "soup for the gods" and "Chinese soup for the gods", including and specifically excluding "ginseng"; the only sources I've found that reference a minimal soy-sauce broth but not the ginseng cite Chao (whom I'm inclined to accord the weight of authority as a native of the culture in question, writing before that particular American food fad took hold.)

A large number of English-language Chinese cookbooks, most notably The Chinese Kitchen by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo (a first-generation Chinese-American born in Sun Tak, a farming suburb of Canton) and Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen by Grace Young, an ABC brought up in San Francisco's Chinatown. Neither work mentions Soup for the Gods, although both stress traditional Chinese cookery and the latter describes a number of traditional Chinese medicinal soups.

A first-generation Chinese-American of my acquaintance who grew up in World War II-era Nanking and Shanghai. She came from a cosmopolitan and Christianized family who didn't observe a lot of old folkways, and she'd never heard of Soup for the Gods; nonetheless, she was happy to tell me (more, honestly, than I was prepared to retain) about ginseng, particularly the important distinction between varieties mentioned above.